Genetic Age: A Vision


Genetic information is transforming research paradigms and spawning new economic trends. Powerful technologies entering the research market have a potential impact upon many industrial segments, ultimately enabling consumers to use genetic information and the consequent understanding of human variation to enhance their quality of life. Societies must proactively address challenges such as privacy and nondiscrimination while ensuring that the Information Age's ‘digital divide’ is not reproduced as a ‘genetic gap’ in the Genetic Age.

Keywords: genetic information; human variation; ‘genetic gap’; GeneChip probe arrays

Figure 1.

Availability of sequence information from the human and other genomes enables the creation of genetic information analysis tools. These in turn allow scientists to access information for studies in a variety of life sciences.

Figure 2.

Commercial DNA arrays are individually packaged (a) for use by scientists in their own laboratories. Standard products contain up to 500000 features on a 1.25 cm2 chip (b), and each 18 µm×18 µm feature contains millions of copies of the same oligonucleotide probe (c), which bind to complementary sequences in the target (sample).

Figure 3.

Genetic information can be applied throughout the drug discovery and development process to identify and harness new therapeutic strategies. (After Bumol TF and Watanabe AM Journal of the American Medical Association285: 551–555.)



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Further Reading

Brooks AJ (1999) The essence of SNPs. Gene 234: 177–186.

Buchanan A, Brock DW, Daniels N and Wiler D (2000) From Chance to Choice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Clayton EW (2001) Through the lens of the sequence. Genome Research 11: 659–664.

Collins FS and McKusick VA (2001) Implications of the Human Genome Project for medical science. Journal of the American Medical Association 285: 540–544.

Fodor SPA, Read JL, Pirrung MC, et al. (1991) Light‐directed, spatially addressable parallel chemical synthesis. Science 251: 767–773.

Fuller BP, Ellis Kahn MJ, et al. (1999) Privacy in genetics research. Science 285: 1359–1361.

Moore GE (1965) Cramming more components onto integrated circuits. Electronics 38(8).

Silver L (1998) Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning will Transform the American Family. New York, NY: Avon Books.

Various authors (2001) The human genome [special issue]. Nature 409: 745–964.

Various authors (2001) The human genome [special issue]. Science 291: 1145–1434.

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How to Cite close
Kreiner, Thane(Sep 2006) Genetic Age: A Vision. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005654]